Facebook is testing a pop-up alert for iPhone and iPad users that will emphasize the gains of collecting personal data. The move comes ahead of Apple’s upcoming privacy changes that have threatened to disrupt Facebook’s core business.
Apple is planning to make it a requirement for apps to seek explicit permission from users before they collect any personal data or track their digital footprint.
Facebook now says it will prompt users, alongside Apple, in an effort to remind them how personalized ads “support small businesses and keep apps free,” the company said in a blog post titled “Speaking up for Small Businesses.”
“As we shared in December, we disagree with Apple’s approach, but will be showing their prompt to ensure stability for the businesses and people who use our services,” Facebook said in the post.
Facebook has protested Apple’s plans by going as far as putting out ads in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post. The tech giant has warned investors that the intended privacy changes will hurt its business if users deny permission.
“Apple has every incentive to use their dominant platform position to interfere with how our apps and other apps work, which they regularly do, to preference their own,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on a conference call with analysts in January. “This impacts the growth of millions of businesses around the world, including with the upcoming iOS 14 changes. Many small businesses will no longer be able to reach their customers with targeted ads.”
Facebook said they decided to develop the pop-up notification as Apple allows the developer to explain why it wants certain permissions for tracking “We feel that people deserve the additional context, and Apple has said that providing education is allowed,” Facebook said in the blog post.
Apple said that the developers are free to do so “so long as you are transparent to users about your use of the data in your explanation. … Apps must respect the user’s permission settings and not attempt to manipulate, trick, or force people to consent to unnecessary data access.”